President Bush talked tough, too, accusing the Russians of "bullying and intimidation," but neither he nor Rice said what the U.S. might do if Russia ignored them.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's press office had no information Friday night on whether he had signed the cease-fire agreement. Russia's foreign minister assured Rice later that his country would implement the deal "faithfully," a U.S. official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Rice's conversation was private, said Russia was likely to sign the deal Saturday.
As the secretary of state spoke in Tbilisi, Russian forces remained camped out just 25 miles away.
Associated Press reporters had seen a convoy of some 50 Russian army trucks and armored personnel carriers roar without warning southeast from the city of Gori on Wednesday, some shouting they were heading to Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. But they veered into a field outside the town of Igoeti and set up camp conspicuously within sight of the road. The Russians were still visible there Friday.
Even as Rice stood with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in a show of solidarity, he asked, "Who invited the trouble here? Who invited this arrogance here? Who invited these innocent deaths here?"
Shaky and near tears following a difficult, nearly five-hour meeting with her, Saakashvili answered his own question: "Not only those people who perpetrate them are responsible, but also those people who failed to stop it."
Rice let that pass, focusing instead on the demand that Moscow immediately withdraw its forces.
"With this signature by Georgia, this must take place and take place now," she declared.
There was no immediate clue to the Russians' intentions a week after their tanks and bombers attacked Georgia in retaliation for Georgia's attempt to retake a disputed province by force.
Russian troops allowed some humanitarian supplies into the strategic city of Gori but otherwise continued their blockade.
Adding to the day's tensions was a top Russian general's comments that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposed the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.
The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is theagainst the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.
Rice responded to the Russian threat from the Georgian capital, accusing the Russians of refusing to accept U.S. assurances that the missile defense system is not aimed at them and not their business, reports CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Lara Logan.
"The arrangements that the United States makes with its Polish allies, to make sure that Poland is capable of defending itself and capable of being an active ally, are frankly between Poland and the United States," said Rice.
But Russia's president doesn't agree, and poured scorn on U.S. claims that the missile system doesn't undermine Russia and targets only rogue states, calling them "fairytales," reports Logan.
The cease-fire document sets out no specific penalties or deadlines. It contains concessions to Russia that Saakashvili obviously found hard to swallow. Russia could retain peacekeeping forces in the separatist region of South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, and the forces would have a broader mandate in South Ossetia.
The idea is to give Moscow the diplomatic cold shoulder while offering face-saving leeway for Russia to turn away from a mentality the West sees as throwback to its empire days. Russia would then have motivation, and some wiggle room, to seek inclusion in Western economic, political and security institutions.
In Washington, Bush accused Russia of resorting to thuggery from another era. He insisted the United States will not abandon Georgia, a Western-leaning democracy on Russia's southern flank and once part of the old Soviet Union.
"Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century," Bush said. "Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation."
Russian withdrawal from Gori, in the center of Georgia proper, would be a major sign that Russia is not trying to hold permanent sway in Georgia or topple its enthusiastically pro-American government. By holding Gori, Russia holds the small country's only major east-west highway and effectively slices Georgia in half.
The peace pact was worked out earlier in the week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and both sides had said they agreed to it.
Russian forces remained, however, and U.S. officials said the document would take effect once it was formally signed Friday. It tells both sides to pull their forces back to the positions they held before fighting broke out last week in South Ossetia.
Saakashvili's tirade and the forceful words from Bush in Washington suggested that a week into the crisis, both leaders were reassessing how they got here.
"We will rebuild," Saakashvili said. "We want them out. I want the world to know, never, ever will Georgia reconcile with occupation of even one square kilometer of its sovereign territory. Never, ever."
His leadership is founded on a close alliance with Washington that has always exasperated Moscow.
Bush gave his most sustained explanation of U.S. action during the crisis, saying the conflict is about much more than a small country far away. Bush made clear the real fight is about the power and ambition of nuclear-armed Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia's resurgence as an energy dynamo.
"The Cold War is over. The days of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us," Bush said at the White House, before a vacation delayed by the crisis. "A contentious relationship with Russia is not in America's interest, and a contentious relationship with America is not in Russia's interest."
Rice said the time had come "to begin a discussion of the consequences of what Russia has done. This calls into question what role Russia really plans to play in international politics."
The Russians may now get more than they bargained for as the West responds to their aggression, says a former U.S. ambassador to Georgia.
"Every one of Russia's neighbors feels less secure today than it did a week ago. This is going to mean that they're going to want help from the outside," William Courtney, former U.S. ambassador to Georgia, told CBS News. "A greater Western military presence in the region is not something Russia wanted, but by it's own actions, Russia has forced this to happen now and the West will respond to this."
Rice was flying to Texas, where she was to give Bush a firsthand account of her diplomatic mission.
Apparently concerned that her awkward news conference with Saakashvili had set the wrong tone, Rice spoke briefly on her own before leaving Georgia.
"It's obviously a very emotional time here in Georgia," she said after visiting wounded people in a hospital.
"It's clearly a very emotional time, but I think that it should still be seen that this was a productive day. I hope now that peace can return to Georgia and Georgians can return to a normal life."